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Candidates hold events ahead of forum

Tony Childress, left, and Jack Wiser, right, meet with residents during separate campaign events Monday / EOCI photos.

The two men seeking the office of Livingston County sheriff held separate campaign events Monday night almost a week ahead of a candidate forum to be held in Pontiac.

Current sheriff Tony Childress and former Fairbury police chief Jack Wiser will face off in the upcoming March 20 primary election. The campaign for Childress hosted a meet and greet at Baby Bulls Fine Dining in Pontiac while Wiser’s supporters hosted a town hall meeting across the county at the Fairbury VFW an hour later.

At the start of his meet and greet, Childress said he was proud of his first four years in office and acknowledged this is his third campaign, saying a campaign is something which is always interesting.

“We’ve certainly fulfilled our promise from the last campaign in bringing the sheriff’s department into the 21st century.”

Childress also said he will continue to work on measures to further increase safety in the county.

Prior to the town hall event, Wiser called for more rural patrols with more officers out and about.

“Some of the town contracts have been dropped and I think it’s important the officers respond to those towns,” he said.

Question topics at the town hall ranged from gun control to drug problems. Wiser supports the second amendment and also believes people have a right not to own a gun. He also wants to see the county’s anti-gang and drug unit “get back on its feet.”

Members of the public will have a chance to listen to the candidates give more detailed responses during a candidate forum Tuesday, Feb. 27 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Eagle Theatre, 319 North Plum Street in Pontiac. The event is hosted by The Central Illinois Farm Network, Livingston County Farm Bureau and WJEZ.

Questions can be submitted before the event to Jody Hughes at the Farm Bureau at or by calling 815-842-1103.

The General Primary Election is March 20, but the Livingston County Clerk’s office is offering plenty of chances to cast a ballot through early voting, the mail or grace registration. This voting will be offered at the office in downtown Pontiac Saturday, March 10 and 17 from 9 a.m. to noon and Wednesday, March 14 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The office will also be open on Election Day from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. for grace registration and voting only at the Historic Courthouse.

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